Big data refers to the astonishing amount of information that is created as a by-product of the growing digitization of our lives – our use of mobile phones, social networks, search engines, online payment methods, apps, and so on.
What is exciting for the development and humanitarian community is that, if we can extract patterns from these datasets, we could have a whole range of real-time information about people that previously would only have been available with months of planning and at high costs. And in some cases, like in countries affected by conflict, no data would have been available. We can look at big data not as the new oil but as the new green energy. It can be fully recycled and used for different purposes and to solve different problems.